TECH

Most Millennials Won't Own A Car In 5 Years, Says Lyft Co-Founder John Zimmer

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 27:  Lyft Co-founder, John Zimmer attends the Lyft driver rally at Siren Studios on January 27, 2015
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 27: Lyft Co-founder, John Zimmer attends the Lyft driver rally at Siren Studios on January 27, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Lyft)

In five years, most millenials won’t own a car. At least, that’s what John Zimmer seems to think.

“You could actually start seeing the majority of millennials in the next five years or so saying there’s no reason I should get a car,” the co-founder of Lyft, the popular ridesharing service, told Mashable recently. “The car used to be the symbol of American freedom. Now it’s like this, and a car is like owning a $9,000 ball and chain, because you have $9,000 in expenses on your car every year.”

There's data to support Zimmer’s hypothesis.

Millennials are less likely to get driver’s licenses compared to previous generations; and according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the number of cars purchased by people aged 18 to 34 fell by almost 30 percent from 2007 to 2011.

Gen Yers also tend to take fewer and shorter car trips, and are more likely to use alternative modes of transportation, such as bicycle or public transit.

As Mashable notes, this shift among millennials has played a significant role in the success of ridesharing companies such as Lyft and Uber, worth at least $2 billion and $40 billion respectively.

According to a 2015 survey conducted by Zogby Analytics commissioned by CALinnovates, more than half of millennials have used sharing services like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb. Fifty-four percent said they expect such services to become even more popular in the years to come.

Still, whether or not cars will soon be obsolete for the Gen Y set remains in dispute. One survey this year found that 43 percent of millennials are actually likely to purchase a car in the next five years.

"Whatever millennials do right now, it's highly likely that they'll drive more as they age into their 30s and 40s," wrote reporter Emily Badger in an op-ed for The Washington Post last year. "The question is whether they'll continue to drive less than their parents did at each stage of life -- and whether future generations will replicate their patterns."

Are cars on the way out for the millennial generation? Weigh in below.

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